USA Today published a story on Universal Pictures’ James Brown biopic, Get on Up, adding some *color* to what we know of the project thus far, which is that it would be a “warts and all” telling of Brown’s life story on film.
USA Today’s story gets a bit more specific, adding that the story begins with a 6-year-old James Brown, as he’s abandoned by his mother (played by Viola Davis) and left to live with his Aunt Honey (played by Octavia Spencer), who runs a brothel. And the film ends in 1993 with a comeback concert, after Brown served prison time for aggravated assault and eluding the police in a wild car chase.
So not quite a birth-to-death biopic. Brown would eventually die on Christmas Day in 2006 – 13 years after the movie’s above ending.
The USA Today piece also states that star Chadwick Boseman (as James Brown) frequently speaks directly to the camera, breaking the so-called fourth wall, addressing the audience directly, and offering them insight into his choices – an interesting decision by director Tate Taylor, and producers Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger.
“I told everybody, ‘Look, James was a control freak, and even though he’s not with us, there’s no way he wouldn’t be a part of his movie,” Taylor says, as a reason for the 4th wall choice.
The above photo, featuring Dan Aykroyd as Ben Bart, the president of the agency that represented Brown for four decades, and Boseman sporting Brown’s famous pompadour, also came with the piece,
Universal has set the film’s release date for August 1, 2014, which isn’t too far away (5 months from now); so I expect a first trailer/teaser to surface soon.
Get on Up was penned by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, who wrote the script for Fair Game, which starred Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.